ALISON BOSHOFF: Queen Imelda Staunton boycotts red carpet rollout for The Crown amid Hollywood actors’ strike
One is on strike! Imelda Staunton, who plays HM The Queen in the prestige Netflix series The Crown, will not be taking part in any publicity for the show over the coming weeks as she is a member of the SAG-AFTRA Hollywood actors union — and hence, on strike.
Some other key members of the cast of the show are also SAG members, and that union has been taking industrial action since mid-July. As such, they will not walk the red carpet or give interviews on chat shows or radio to promote the programme. They will also have to skip the show’s red carpet premiere next month.
Sources at Netflix indicate that Staunton will still be front and centre of their campaign, thanks to publicity materials, including photo shoots done earlier this year before the strike came into effect. And they promise plenty of promo.
It’s not yet clear who will be available to support the show, which costs £10 million an episode to make, this autumn. Australian actress Elizabeth Debicki once again plays Princess Diana and Dominic West is back as Prince Charles.
The early episodes will concern Diana’s death in a car accident in Paris, and the series will conclude with the wedding of Prince Charles to Camilla.
Imelda Staunton, who plays HM The Queen in the prestige Netflix series The Crown , will not be taking part in any publicity for the show over the coming weeks as she is a member of the SAG-AFTRA Hollywood actors union — and hence, on strike. She is pictured on the picket in July with her husband Jim Carter
Sources at Netflix indicate that Staunton will still be front and centre of their campaign, thanks to publicity materials, including photo shoots done earlier this year before the strike came into effect. And they promise plenty of promo. She is pictured as the Queen in The Crown
One source says: ‘They don’t have any cast supporting the show… It’s an industry-wide problem.’ Last month the streamer launched the final series of their hit Sex Education without any interviews from the cast, including Gillian Anderson and new Doctor Who Ncuti Gatwa.
This summer, Staunton turned up at a SAG-AFTRA solidarity protest in the UK with her husband Jim Carter, who plays butler Mr Carson in Downton Abbey.
Appearing to take direct aim at her paymasters at Netflix she said: ‘The streaming services seem to be paying themselves and not the creatives. The issue of AI is here. We need to talk about how it’s going to affect people’s financial circumstances.
‘Most actors and most writers and performers seem to be at the bottom of the pile when the pay packet is issued.’
Husband Carter said: ‘I’m here today, as an Equity member of 50-odd years, to stand behind SAG-AFTRA. I fully support it. Most Equity members do, because their fight is our fight. What they’re doing is absolutely right and I applaud them.’ He explained: ‘It’s the issue of residuals. We’re not being paid properly for our work.’
Negotiations between the studios and streamers and the actors’ union are ongoing. (Although the writers’ strike has now been settled.) This means The Crown’s writer Peter Morgan will be able to support the show.
Maya’s offer of a lifetime – to her dad
She is nobody’s idea of a mafiosa, but actor Ethan Hawke has explained that daughter Maya made him an offer he couldn’t refuse… to direct her in a new movie, Wildcat.
The film is about American writer Flannery O’Connor and was a passion project for Maya, 25, his daughter with first wife, actress Uma Thurman.
Hawke said that Maya, who plays Robin Buckley in Stranger Things and was recently seen in Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City, saw the author as a ‘spirit guide’ and had been a fan since she was a teenager.
Ethan Hawke has explained that daughter Maya made him an offer he couldn’t refuse… to direct her in a new movie, Wildcat. Maya Hawke is pictured last month during Paris Fashion Week
The film is about American writer Flannery O’Connor and was a passion project for Maya, 25, his daughter with first wife, actress Uma Thurman. Ethan and Maya Hawke are pictured at the Film Independent Spirit Awards in Los Angeles in 2018
The 52-year-old actor said: ‘When Stranger Things came out, Maya started to have success. She looked into getting the rights to Flannery O’Connor and wanted to make a movie about her.
‘My wife [Ryan Shawhughes] and I run a small production company — and she approached us. She had the rights and said: ‘I want you guys to help me make this movie.’ And so how are you gonna say no, right?’
Reviews of Wildcat have been mixed, to say the least, but Hawke enjoyed the experience.
‘It’s extremely easy to direct your daughter because the love is there. And I’m watching not just our love, but I’m watching the love of performance and the love of writing. This film is largely a celebration of the power of literature. But when love is in the room, then all those lesser powers are diminished.’
The cast of Ghosts took away a variety of souvenirs from the set of the hit BBC One sitcom, which is ending after five series.
Actor Laurence Rickard snagged the severed head belonging to Sir Humphrey Bone, whom he played.
‘It is sitting in a transparent box, in my living room, while I work out where I want to put it,’ he said.
‘My five-year-old son suddenly has a lot of questions! I’m waiting for the day when he goes to school for show and tell and says: ‘Look, I’ve brought in my dad’s head’.’
The cast of Ghosts took away a variety of souvenirs from the set of the hit BBC One sitcom, which is ending after five series
Disney duo behind Frozen hope their dearest Wish will come true
Are wishes about to come true for Disney? The studio, which this year marks its 100th anniversary, is anticipating the release of a new animated film, Wish, by the makers of the mega-smash Frozen.
A trailer for the movie, which mixes traditional ‘watercolour’ style animation with cutting-edge CGI, is the company’s most-watched trailer since Frozen II in 2019.
Within a few days of release this week it notched up 66.5 million views online, and counting, and is the most viewed Disney trailer on TikTok.
That augurs well for its release next month and means that Disney’s luck might be about to change, after the recent disappointments of Indiana Jones: The Dial Of Destiny, Haunted Mansion and Encanto; not to mention last year’s mega-flop Strange World.
Disney’s chief creative officer Jennifer Lee came to London earlier this year to show some footage of Wish and share her enthusiasm for the project, about a young woman called Asha who makes a wish upon a star — and ends up with a sentient star as a pal.
Lee said: ‘It’s five years since we started talking about something to mark the Disney 100 anniversary this year. This film is about wonder and the possibility of hope. It’s about celebrating life — and having some delicious villains, too.’
Chief among those bad guys is Chris Pine, as King Magnifico, who rules over the magical kingdom of Rosas. He has two songs which Lee thinks will surprise audiences (in a good way), as he has a great singing voice.
Disney, which this year marks its 100th anniversary, is anticipating the release of a new animated film, Wish, by the makers of the mega-smash Frozen. Pictured is a scene from Wish
Chris Buck — who co-directed Frozen with Lee, and dreamed up the adorable snowman Olaf — steered her towards the cute sidekick in this film: a pyjama-sporting goat called Valentino. He helps Asha, played by West Side Story star Ariana DeBose.
There are plenty of nods to Disney classics. Asha, for instance, has seven friends — based on the seven dwarves from Snow White.
But it’s not all nostalgia. The music is by Julia Michaels, the 29-year-old singer-songwriter behind Justin Bieber’s Sorry and hits for Selena Gomez and Britney among others. I predict that the music will be part of lots of school runs by the end of term.
Oh, and the Lego sets based on the characters were released this week, in time for the festive market.
Lee, who has climbed the corporate pole at Disney with considerable grace, told me: ‘Can you believe Frozen was ten years ago? And I haven’t aged a day.’
Rev Kate Bottley is afflicted with misophonia — which means she gets ‘sound rage’ when she hears people chewing loudly.
The TV and radio broadcaster says she’s had to move train carriages after being angered by a noisy apple eater.
And crisp crunchers, soup slurpers and gum fans better beware, too … especially if they see her removing her clerical collar.
Rev Kate Bottley (depicted in this cartoon) is afflicted with misophonia — which means she gets ‘sound rage’ when she hears people chewing loudly
Bottley told That Gaby Roslin Podcast: ‘Sometimes you just think: I’m done with being nice today. I have to slip the dog collar off, because I’m just going to lose it. I’m PR for Jesus here, so I’m going to let him down, is what I always think.’
Not even family are safe, it seems. ‘I’ve been with my husband for 30 years and some days I have to choose to love that boy. He eats crisps and I want to punch him in the head.’
How a dog called Six-Thirty is about to go global
He’s one of the most famous literary dogs, so great care was taken in the casting of Six-Thirty, the canine hero of Lessons In Chemistry, when Apple TV+ made their prestige drama series out of the hit book by Bonnie Garmus.
As readers will recall, the mixed-breed rescue dog learns more than 900 words and is a key part of the family unit in the novel about Elizabeth Zott, a chemist who starts a second act as the host of a TV cooking show in the 1950s.
Brie Larson plays Zott: an unlikely TV star and a model for women’s liberation. In the new programme, Six-Thirty is played by a goldendoodle called Gus, who lives with owner Steve Berens in Georgia.
Brie Larson (pictured earlier this week at Paris Fashion Week) plays Zott: an unlikely TV star and a model for women’s liberation. In the new programme, Six-Thirty is played by a goldendoodle called Gus, who lives with owner Steve Berens in Georgia
Gus filmed the series when he was just a year old and ‘took to filming very calmly’, even though it was his first time in front of a camera.
Sources on the show say Gus was a dream to work with and ‘loves everyone he meets’. Off camera he enjoys playing ball and hanging out with his friends (a couple of dobermans and a bulldog).
Series creator Lee Eisenberg said Gus was an accomplished performer. ‘He’ll probably be award-nominated. We’re submitting him for all categories.’
Garmus said that Six-Thirty was based on her old dog, Friday, who passed away. ‘Friday, like Six-Thirty, knew a lot of words,’ she said. ‘The only difference is, we didn’t teach her those words — she picked them up by listening.
‘When we were transferred abroad to Switzerland, Friday picked German up. Not kidding.’
- Lessons in Chemistry will stream on Apple TV+ from next Friday.
Don’t read too much into Paul McCartney‘s Las Vegas weekend.
Macca went to the opening night at spectacular new music venue the Sphere to see U2 last Friday. And the night after he saw Adele at Caesars Palace.
But the former Beatle would ‘never’ play Vegas say pals, no matter how much money was offered.
Paul McCartney (pictured in June 2022) would ‘never’ play Vegas say pals, no matter how much money was offered
Cosy Crime is in its imperial phase, with Richard Osman’s latest Thursday Murder Club instalment, The Last Devil To Die, the fastest-selling adult fiction of the year.
Now the Rev Richard Coles has landed a three-book deal for more of his Canon Clement mysteries.
Coles observes that his fictitious village, Champton St Mary, is ‘already the second most dangerous settlement in England — after Midsomer’.
Cosy Crime is in its imperial phase, with Richard Osman’s latest Thursday Murder Club instalment, The Last Devil To Die, the fastest-selling adult fiction of the year. Osman is pictured in October 2015
Spilling the beans on the Wild Boys
Duran Duran’s former manager is going to spill the beans on the formation of the band — and getting sacked after the Drum yacht disaster — in a film he is writing.
Michael Berrow was the first manager of the group, along with his brother Paul. The pair ran the Rum Runner nightclub in Birmingham, which is where the band formed and had their first break in 1980.
Roger Taylor, the drummer, had a job painting the Broad Street entrance to make money; and Simon Le Bon’s former girlfriend worked behind the bar and suggested her ex as a frontman.
Duran Duran’s former manager is going to spill the beans on the formation of the band — and getting sacked after the Drum yacht disaster — in a film he is writing. Pictured: Members of the Band Duran Duran, from left, Andy Taylor, Roger Taylor, Simon LeBon, Nick Rhodes, and John Taylor in August 2003
Michael mortgaged his house so the band could be the supporting act for Hazel O’Connor’s Megahype Tour of the UK in 1980… which led to them signing with EMI in December that year.
Five years of extraordinary success followed, during which the band and the managers grew exceedingly wealthy.
Duran Duran parted ways with the Berrows in 1986. No official reason was given at the time, but bassist John Taylor said in his 2012 autobiography they felt the brothers were a bad influence on Le Bon, encouraging him to participate in the Whitbread Round The World yacht race.
The singer was almost killed when Drum, the yacht he co-owned with his managers, capsized during the Fastnet Race in 1985. Le Bon and the crew were trapped before being winched to safety by helicopter.
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